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Sunday, July 17, 2011

KNEE JERK REACTION: "The Songs of Now Sound a Lot Like Then"

In his article in the Sunday NY Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/17/arts/music/new-pop-music-sounds-like-its-predecessors.html), music critic Simon Reynolds makes the point that recent pop music has been stealing sounds from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Reynolds gives the examples of Cee-Lo Green, who's Forget You is reminiscent of Motown, and the Black Eyed Peas, who's recent album reminds him of crappy 90s music. It is surprising to see a music critic treat this trend as a new phenomenon. The tradition of pop stealing from the music of the past out-dates today's shitty business theory that a particular song can be owned as intellectual property.* Pop music has never been an amazing source for original music. Elvis made smash its out of Little Richard originals, the early Beatles were a re-vamped version of 50s rock n roll, the Rolling Stones purposely absorbed black American music and created some of the greatest songs ever. I just don't seem to understand what's novel about musicians being influenced by the past. That's what making music is all about; exploring the past and then providing your own interpretation.

*That's not to say that musician's don't have a right to profit off of their recordings, they do, but fuck the record industry clowns. Share some music with your friends. Fuck Metallica.


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